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May's Spree Insider

This time of year in Buffalo is all about tradition: tulips, butter lambs, the removal of the ice boom … And this month we’re sponsoring two returning favorites that are among WNY’s most beloved rites of spring: ECMC’s twenty-second annual gala and the twenty-third almost-annual incarnation of a time-honored art-themed party.

The ECMC Lifeline Foundation Springfest Gala, starting at 5:30 p.m. on May 14 at the Adam’s Mark Hotel, is no ordinary charity event—it’s much bigger than that. Springfest 2011 is expected to bring in more than 800 guests, including sponsors and medical and corporate leaders. “Each year we gather together to honor outstanding individuals for their contributions to the medical community,” says Deborah Jamieson, office administrator and special events coordinator of the ECMC Lifeline Foundation. This year, the Foundation honors Neil Dashkoff, M.D.; Lori Anthony, R.N.; and Mary Goodspeed, R.N.

In fact, the gala, which helps benefit patient care at Erie County Medical Center, is bigger than ever in 2011. The nationally renowned Average White Band and the locally adored Lance Diamond headline the bandstand. The black-tie event will also include a silent auction, featuring such items as Buffalo Sabres goalie Ryan Miller’s signed jersey and jewelry specifically designed for the gala by Aurum Jewelers of Buffalo.

The Lifeline Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation that supports the lifesaving medical services of ECMC. The foundation has already helped bring many vital improvements to the hospital, including a balance master system that helps rehab patients regain balance skills, a therapeutic apartment that tests living skills for a smoother transition back home, and renovations to the Adolescent In-patient Psychiatric Unit.

Call the ECMC Lifeline Foundation office with any questions at 898-5800 or visit them online at www.ecmclifeline.org.

Hallwalls’s Artists & Models 2011, scheduled to kick off at 9 p.m. on May 21 at Rock Harbor Yard, is a very different experience from the gala, but no less unique.

Started in 1984 by a trio of artist-entrepreneurs as an unofficial after-party for the former annual In Western New York exhibition at the Albright-Knox, Artists & Models has evolved into a high-profile fundraiser for Hallwalls. Each year, A&M brings in anywhere between 1,500 and 3,500 revelers of all generations. “The [age] range of patrons of the event is extreme: people from eighteen to seventy years old,” says Polly Little, Hallwalls’ development director.

Little stresses that A&M is no ordinary art show. In fact, she says it’s more of an “art circus” than an exhibition: “This is an experience—much of the art is performance-based and frequently involves patrons’ participation in artists’ installations.” Each year about forty performers, musicians, and media makers donate work to the event, According to Carolyn Tennant, Hallwalls’ media curator, “’Rapture/Rupture’ is a celebration of our community’s arts and culture. A carnival-esque experiment of aesthetic proportions, this year’s theme is inspired by our instinct to do, or be, two things at once—to be an artist and to be a model, to watch and to be observed, to make and to break.”

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door and will be available at locations throughout Buffalo, including Hallwalls (at Delaware and Tupper), Talking Leaves (both the Main and Elmwood locations), Pizza Plant (at the Walker Center in Williamsville), Rust Belt Books (202 Allen Street), and Room (1400 Hertel Avenue). Tickets are also available online at www.hallwalls.org.



David Neth is a junior at Medaille College and a recent Spree editorial intern.

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